Ribbon, Allergic Contact Dermatitis, Awareness, Eczema



  1. Boghosian, Gayle
  2. Bertolino, Misha
  3. Musser, Jess
  4. Limone, Brittanya

Article Content

On March 19, 2016, a Montessori teacher and a customer service representative, both caregivers for children experiencing allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), set out to start a patient-centered outreach group on Facebook called "Eczema, Contact Dermatitis and Patch Testing Alliance" (access to Webpage at Currently, this 1,925-member focus group launched an initiative to provide education on contact dermatitis and practical resources on patch testing and living with the disease. A recurring theme on the group page centered around the pivotal role nurse educators play in clinical patch-test encounters.

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One of the most challenging aspects of living with ACD is the delayed clinical presentation. ACD results from a delayed hypersensitivity reaction that leads to a prolonged time between exposure and the actual activation of the dermatitis. Without patch testing, at times, this association may be nebulous and remain undiscovered. The success of patch testing relies heavily on an education-centered treatment plan. Once patch testing identifies a clinically relevant allergen, counseling on avoidance measures is the mainstay of treatment. Proper education implementation is known to improve patient outcomes, and patch test nurses play an essential role.


Over 1.2 million Americans experience this disease (Jacob et al., 2015). Recently, contact dermatitis was reported to be the eighth costliest skin disease, with medical costs alone totaling over $1.5 billion per year (Lim et al., 2017). Considering associated costs of morbidity to the patient and his or her family would be even more staggering.


One year after the launch of the Facebook group "Eczema, Contact Dermatitis and Patch Testing Alliance," the lead administrator reached out to providers offering patch test services including the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Contact Dermatitis Society, and the Dermatology Nurses' Association to encourage awareness initiatives in the field of contact dermatitis and occupational skin disease. The outcome of this call to action was the creation of a contact dermatitis awareness ribbon, featuring the colors orchid and teal to symbolize the integrated components of both eczema (pink or orchid) and allergy (teal) in the ACD disease process.


Nurses play a vital role in patch test education, a role repeatedly recognized in the "Eczema, Contact Dermatitis and Patch Testing Alliance" Facebook group. Nurses, advocacy groups, educators, and individual supporters may use the ribbon to promote the early detection, education, and intervention of ACD globally. Distribution of the ribbon among social contacts (patients, friends, family) through social media to increase awareness of this preventable disease affecting millions of people is encouraged. To download a digital copy of the ribbon, visit the following Web page:




Jacob S. E., Goldenberg A., Pelletier J. L., Fonacier L. S., Usatine R., Silverberg N. (2015). Nickel allergy and our children's health: A review of indexed cases and a view of future prevention. Pediatric Dermatology, 32(6), 779-785. doi:10.1111/pde.12639 [Context Link]


Lim H. W., Collins S. A. B., Resneck J. S. Jr., Bolognia J. L., Hodge J. A., Rohrer T. A., Moyano J. V. (2017). The burden of skin disease in the United States. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 76(6), 1151-1160. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2016.12.043 [Context Link]